Thursday, October 17, 2013

Showtime’s Masters of Sex #103 “Standard Deviation”

Affaire De Couer
By Catherine Giordano

Caitland Fitzgerald as Libby Masters
Some of the people on Masters of Sex are finding a way to get their heart’s desire; others are not. Episode 103, titled “Standard Deviation” which aired on 10/13/13, resolves some issues for some characters, particularly issues close to their hearts.

Dr. William Masters finds a way to get his research moved back into the hospital.  The brothel isn’t working out.  His subjects are non-orgasmic female prostitutes with various STD’s and homosexual male prostitutes. He wants to study “normal” people—he proclaims that his subjects are several standard deviations away from “normal.”

A homosexual man wants to be a subject, but Masters is so ignorant about homosexual sex that the subject calls in a friend to demonstrate. Later Masters refuses to continue to work with him as a subject because he is not normal (as in” representative,” but also perhaps as in “he’s a deviate.”)  The young man says that this is the second time he has been screwed by a doctor at the hospital. He explains that many of his clients are “family men.”  Turns out provost Scully is one of those family men. Masters has a little tete-a-tete with Scully, applies some gentle blackmail and violà, his research is back in the hospital.

This isn’t an easy thing for Masters to do. He and Scully go way back. We see flashbacks that show us that Scully was Master’s mentor when he was a young doctor. But Master’s friendship with Scully is not as close to his heart as his desire to conduct his research.

Libby Masters is getting the baby she wants. Virginia spills the beans to Libby and tells her that it is not her fault she can’t get pregnant; her husband is the one with the problem. Virginia tells Libby the truth because she can’t bear to watch Libby blame herself anymore. The next day Libby goes to see Dr. Ethan Hass who is giving her fertility treatments and is about to tell him that she knows the truth when he announces she is pregnant. He says a very odd thing.  “Your husband thinks he can do everything himself, but I am the one who got you pregnant.”

Ethan has a lot of “sibling rivalry” with Masters. I call it sibling rivalry because Ethan is like the younger brother who can’t live up to his older brother’s accomplishments.  A woman comes into the hospital pregnant with quadruplets and is very close to delivery.  Haas sees her first and claims her as his patient. Delivering quads will make him a “hero”. But it turns out Ethan is not up to the task and Masters must take over. Ethan’s heart’s desire is to prove that he is as good as Masters. A lot of resentment is filling his heart right now.

The prostitute Betty gets what she wants –an operation to reverse her tubal litigation.  Unfortunately, the operation is not successful, although Masters really does try everything he can. Like most of the other prostitutes she has a lot of pelvic inflammation. Virginia consoles her saying that her fiancé, the one who knows nothing about her life as a prostitute, will understand. However Betty has no intention of telling him. She wants to get married and she knows her fiancé wants a half dozen children at least. Her fiancé is a bit of a shlub, but he is wealthy and he adores her. Betty is following her heart when she deceives him. (He thinks she was having an operation for her appendix.) Her heart’s desire is to escape the brothel.
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“The heart wants what the heart wants.” Sometimes the heart gets what the heart wants and sometimes, it’s a sad state of affairs, when the heart does not get what the heart wants.

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